Discernment Challenge: If You See Something, Say Something. Be ‘That Guy’

(JD Hall – Protestia)  If You See Something, Say Something is a public service campaign started by the New York City Metropolitan Transportation Authority, now licensed by the Department of Homeland Security and has become popularized in use by police departments and transit officers across the country. It’s printed on posters and in radio PSAs, announced over loudspeakers at train depots, airports and bus stations, and printed on fliers dispersed at sporting events. Chiefly the notion is this; if you see something suspicious, just say something.

The success behind the propaganda is based upon a simple supposition. People, the authorities suppose, don’t feel qualified to make sophisticated intelligence briefings to the authorities, and that prevents people speaking up when they see something. Therefore, people need to know that what they need to do is just say something. Saying something is better, the ad relays, than saying nothing. Saying something might save lives or prevent a terrorist attack.

Not a day goes by that Protestia doesn’t get a question in the email of Pulpit Bunker that goes something like this…

Someone in my friend’s list/church/family/workplace shared something from [insert false teacher] or [insert false teaching]. What should I do? How do I handle this?

Days, weeks, months, and years go by with discerning friends stewing in their annoyance and general antipathy toward their colleagues, peers, friends and family posting visions from Beth Moore, sexy intimate God-time with Ann Voskamp, direct and divine revelation from Sarah Young, general eisegetical poppycock from Perry Noble, nonsensical and steroid-fueled Jack Handey-style Deep Thoughts from Steven Furtick, or the latest attempt to build bridges by Rick Warren with whatever cult he’s been most recently invited to speak.

We know the pain. We feel your pain.

  • Kenneth Copeland has bound the spirit of syphilis in Papua New Guinea. Let me bang my head against the wall.
  • Another kid woke up in Heaven and came back with a best-seller. No, another kid. No. Another kid. All of their experiences are unbiblical. That should matter to the Bible believing Christian.
  • Formerly reformed rappers are praising BLM and giving weak answers on abortion, making us want us want to shake them to unwoke them.
  • Joel Osteen’s latest sermon was identical to the fortune cookie message from the Great Wall of China Restaurant. Thank you for sharing it on your Facebook wall. Now I will decree and declare my way off your friends list.
  • Beth Moore is accusing people of being racist again, even as she aligns herself with the worst kinds of “Christian” progressives, and we watch all her fanboys swoon over it.
  • Oh, you think I want to see that Joyce Meyer clip? Yes, yes I do! But you’ll be watching a clip of a false teacher that the Bible warns you to “mark and avoid.”

Yes, we understand your pain. So, what do you do about it?

If you see something, say something.

A young woman I barely know, who’s certainly a “good person” posted a Lysa TerKeurst meme today. I sent a polite message with a link to this polemical warning. My message was short, polite, and I referenced  Hebrews 5:11-14 as a sign saying in essence, “Don’t shoot the messenger. I’m using Scripture.”

Then there was the time an in-law mentioned their daughter’s Baptist youth group was heading out to see Roma Downey’s Bible fan fiction (that’s the best term for whatever that movie was). I DM’d a short message about maybe needing to find a new youth group. That didn’t end well.

Then, there are the Southern Baptists walking prayer labyrinths, getting words of knowledge, and hearing some gobbledegook at IHOPKC because former SBC President Ronnie Floyd was going to be there, which means it must be legit. I sent a Let Me Google That For You of IHOPKC and Mike Bickle. The results were…mixed.

Here’s the truth, folks. There are a plethora of spiritual charlatans and doctrinal snake oil salesmen who really will ravage your friends, spiritually molest your family, theologically wound your coworkers and maim your loved ones. The fact is, if you love them and you see something, you should say something. – JD Hall

A few tips for you:

  1. Send a private message. Some folks are prideful. Don’t accuse them of being a “discernmentless doctri-drone hell bent on aiding and abetting heretics” in public. Call them that in private. Or follow #2.
  2. Don’t accuse them, from the start, of being discernmentless doctridrones hell bent on aiding and abetting heretics. The fact is, they’re biblically illiterate. They need guidance. Now if they ignore repeated attempts at correction, then maybe the charge is true, but you might want to rephrase it.
  3. Tell them you send a warning or correction because you love them or care for them. Oh, and mean it.
  4. Don’t give up. And let the know you won’t give up. Tell them that every time they open an Osteen fortune cookie on their Facebook page you will send them a discernment article warning about that heretic. If they delete you or ignore you, that’s on them. Trust me – if every time someone shared an Osteen meme they got a lecture, chances are they’d stop. The thing is, folks who share Osteen memes aren’t exactly up for a rigorous theological discussion in the first place. They know it.
  5. Be “that guy.” Mark Lamprecht infamously took down an article about Ergun Caner when prompted by his pastor, Johnny Hunt. Lamprecht wrote that he took down the (necessary, truthful and helpful) article because he didn’t want to be “that guy.” Folks, life’s too short to worry about being that guy. We need that guy. That guy is important. Be that guy. Being that guy is not popular. But be “that guy” who cares what Jesus thinks of him and really doesn’t care if he sits at the cool table.

Remember, if you see something, say something. Do it in love, do it tactfully, but for crying out loud, just do it.

Just say something.

Posted with JD Hall’s permission.

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